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A Guide to Work Permits and Visas for Employees on Assignment in France

Companies that assign employees to foreign countries face a number of compliance hurdles, the initial task is to secure a work permit or visa.  The immigration requirements for workers varies between countries, so preliminary research is necessary.

The work visa requirements for employees on assignment to France will depend on the length of stay and type of work relationship.  These will need to be followed for any employees on a short or long term assignment.

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When does an employee require a work visa in France?

Any employee who is not an EU or Swiss citizen will need some type of work permission in France, either short or long term.

Short Stay Work Visa: Employing for less than 90 days in France

Short stays of less than 90 days require what is known as a business visa in many countries.  The short stay visa is applied for by the company and then sent to the French consulate in the employee’s country.

Eligibility: Employee invited to meetings of employer/company clients, partners and affiliates, or professional seminars and conferences

Requirements: Supporting Documents of Professional Activities

Cost: EUR60

Processing Time: 2-15 days

Long Stay Work Visa in France: Employing for more than 90 days

The long stay work visa is for assignments of more than 90 days and is also the employee’s residence permit in France.

Eligibility: Employee of a French Entity or Branch

Requirements: Employment Contract and Application in Person at Consulate with Valid Passport

Cost:  EUR99

Processing Time: 6 weeks

Work Permit for an Employee on Assignment in France

There is a special long stay work permit for employees on assignment to France.  It is called the ‘expatriate employee’ permit and is available if you have a branch or affiliate in France.  The employee must have worked at least three months in the company outside of France and earn 1.8 times the minimum wage.

It is valid for three years, can be renewed and family members can accompany the employee.  The cost, time and application process are similar to the long stay visa.

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